SOFLO Swimmers Hit The Road For Season-Ending Meet

By Sharon Robb

December 9, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will enjoy the final travel meet of the year at the three-day YCF Winter Classic that begins Friday at the Orlando YMCA.

With the cold front this weekend, swimmers, coaches and parents are happy the competitive meet is indoors.

SOFLO swimmers will get the opportunity to swim against several northern teams including Sarasota, Bolles and STAR in addition to SwimMAC. SOFLO is one of only two Florida Gold Coast teams competing in the prestigious meet.

Among SOFLO’s top seeds are:

Alessandro Pereira, 10, 50-yard breaststroke, 38.85.

Santiago Rivera, 19, 100-yard breaststroke, 57.65.

Rafael Rodriguez, 14, 100-yard butterfly, 53.99; 200-yard individual medley, 1:59.57; 200-yard butterfly, 2:00.41.

SOFLO has 38 swimmers competing (19 boys and 19 girls) including current TYR Swimmer of the Month Jena Legaspi. They are: Kaitlyn Barrios, 10; Tyler Bland, 15; Mariann Catalasan, 10; Maya Coffey, 15; Javier Colmenares, 10; Juan Colmenares, 12; Kayla Cunningham, 13; Kerry Ann Cunningham, 10; Daniela Curbelo, 14; Mark De Gracia, 12; Katrina Del Vecchio, 13; Mia Escudero, 12; Alex Golding, 12; Molly Golding, 13; Logan Gonzalez, 11; Kalin Hubbard, 12; Paige Lane, 14; Jie Hoon Lee, 13; Jena Legaspi, 12; Lance Lesage, 14; Rebekah Ling, 14; Jacqueline Lugo, 14; Alejandro Mateus, 11; Leonardo Mateus, 15; Nicolas Munoz, 13; Leah Pando, 10; Giada Porven, 8; Enrique Rodrigues, 12; Jennifer Rodriguez, 16; Nicolas Rossi, 13; Mallory Schleicher, 13; Juan Serna, 15; Christian Tijero, 11; Emma Twombly, 12; and Aldo Zepeda, 11.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday prelims begin 8:30 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. On Sunday, finals are 5 p.m.

The meet is an end-of-calendar year prelims and finals format meet. It was created as a replacement for the Gator meet which is not being held this year because of construction at the O’Connell Center at University of Florida.


What: YCF Winter Classic

When: Friday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m. prelims, 6 p.m. finals.

Where: YMCA of Central Florida, International Aquatic Center, 8422 International Drive, Orlando.

Admission: $5.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas Wins Heat, Swims Best Time For Second National Record At FINA Short Course World Championships

By Sharon Robb

December 8, 2016—Marc Rojas of South Florida Aquatic Club had another impressive day at the 13th FINA Short Course World Championships Thursday at WFCU Centre in Windsor Ontario, Canada.

Making his international debut for the Dominican Republic, Rojas swam a best time in the 200-meter breaststroke and broke his second national record.

Rojas won his heat and finished 34th out of 59 swimmers in 2:15.12, just one place behind Colombia’s Jorge Murillo in 2:14.66 and Aruba’s Jordy Groters, 30th in 2:12.68.

“It was inspiring watching him win the heat,” said his longtime coach, SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson.

Rojas also swam the 100-meter individual medley, finishing 47th out of 84 in 57.29. His splits were 26.39 and 30.90.

Rojas has the 50-meter breaststroke remaining on Saturday.

SOFLO teammate Alia Atkinson of Jamaica was second fastest qualifier behind world record holder Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu of Hungary in the 100-meter individual medley semifinal round, 57.53-58.54.

In other events:

Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: Marco Koch of Germany broke the meet record and won his second gold medal of the meet in 2:01.21 ahead of Andrew Willis of Great Britain in 2:02.71.

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Aussie Brittany Elmslie won in 51.81.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won in 2:00.79 ahead of Daryna Zevina of the Ukraine in 2:02.24.

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: South African Chad Le Clos broke his own world and meet records by 0.36 seconds in 48.08. American Tom Shields was second in 49.04.

Men’s 50-meter backstroke: Junya Koga of Japan won in 22.81, the only swimmer under 23 seconds. Belarus and FSU alum Pavel Sankovich was second in 23.07.

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: American Leah Smith held off teammate Ashley Twichell to win in 8:10.17. Twichell, also an open water swimmer, finished in 8:11.95.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding Goes Best Time, Makes “B” Final At Junior East Nationals

By Sharon Robb

December 8, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding swam a best time and made the “B” final of the 200-yard individual medley Thursday at the four-day Speedo Winter Junior National East Championships at Ohio State in Columbus.

Golding, 16, turned in the 13th fastest time in morning prelims in a best time 2:00.18, lowering her previous best of 2:00.34. She finished sixth in the “B” final in 2:00.37.

Golding, a 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier and two-time high school state champion, was also 32nd in the 50-yard freestyle in a best time 23.48.

Golding is competing in six events over three days. She will also swim the 400 IM, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke.

SOFLO teammate Luke Lezotte, 15, making his junior nationals debut, finished the 50-yard freestyle in 21.24 in his first short course national race. His best time in long course is 24.10.

Ervin Marin, 17, went 1:55.17 in the 200-meter individual medley. His long course best is 2:09.38. He will also swim the 400 IM and 100 breaststroke bonus races.

Kelley Heron, 17, went 2:05.37 in the 200 IM. She will also compete in the 100 and 200 backstroke events.

Still to swim are SOFLO’s Max Asnis in the 200 butterfly and Jessica Rodriguez in the 200 breaststroke bonus race and 100 breaststroke. It is the largest contingent to represent SOFLO at the national level.



500-yard freestyle: 1. Morgan Tankersley, Greater Tampa 4:38.13, 2. Madison Homovich, Raleigh Marlins 4:40.90, 3. Erica Laning, Tennessee Aquatics 4:46.16; FGC: 9. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:46.12, best time, 26. Alessandra Baldari, NPB 4:52.62.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Alexandra Walsh, Nashville 1:54.48, 2. Brooke Forde, Lakeside 1:55.55, 3. Isabel Ivey, Gator Swim Club 1:57.19; SOFLO: 14. Kathleen Golding 2:00.37, 82. Kelley Heron 2:05.37; FGC: 27. Alessandra Baldari, NPB 2:02.10, 86. Alexa Rivera, NPB 2:05.52, 92. Hannah Virgin 2:05.80, best time, 97. Jennifer Secrest, NPB 2:06.16, 114. Victoria Miyamoto, PC 2:07.49, 118. Andrea Santander, PC 2:07.76, 120. Brooke Ellis, Gulliver 2:07.89, 130. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 2:09.27.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Katherine Douglass, Westchester 22.04, NAG record, 2. Isabel Ivey, Gator Swim Club 22.44, 3. Grace Countie, Raleigh Marlins 22.54; SOFLO: 32. Kathleen Golding 23.48, best time; FGC: 18. Jessica Nava, PC 23.12, best time, 87. Jennifer Secrest, NPB 24.18, 100. Hailey Jerew, AquaKids Sharks 24.31, best time.


500-yard freestyle: 1. Drew Kibler, Carmel 4:15.36, NAG record, 2. Robert Freeman, Baylor 4:16.99, 3. Jake Sannem, Upper Dublin 4:19.34; FGC: 55. Daniels Jacobs, PC 4:33.73.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Reece Whitley, Penn Charter 1:43.93, 2. Nicolas Alberto, Cardinal Aquatics 1:45.63, 3. Ariel Spektor, Bolles 1:46.57; SOFLO: 100. Ervin Marin 1:55.17, best time; FGC: 7. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:48.55; 10./16. Patrick Groters, PC 1:48.28, best time, 1:49.80 prelims, 69. Nicholas Sharp, SA 1:53.51, best time, 73. Adan Diaz, Azura 1:53.67, 79. Trahern Gribble, Gulliver 1:54.23, best time, 102. Marcelo Lauzurique, Gulliver 1:55.57, 117. Elvis Kotikovski, PC 1:58.22.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Drew Kibler, Carmel 19.70, 2. Jack Franzman, Zionsville 19.81, 3. Willie Davis, Bolles 19.92; SOFLO: 55. Luke Lezotte 21.24, best time; FGC: 18. Cason Wilburn, East Coast 20.67, FGC: 31. Patrick Groters, PC 20.98, best time, 38. Nico Ferrara, PC 21.07, 43. Izaak Bastian SA 21.10, 63. Jayme Rezende, Azura 21.31, 64. Seggio Bernardina, East Coast 21.32.

Sharon Robb can be reached at